Property in New York is expensive. There is nothing new about that. However, “expensive” gets a whole new meaning when you hear that wire-mesh storage bins in a luxury condo tower in Manhattan cost $200,000 each. The condominium tower in question is One57, an under-construction building on West 57th Street. Once ready, this will hold the title of New York City’s tallest building. But even as a work-in-progress, One57 is garnering attention for its uber-expensive storage space. The building carries 17 wire-mesh storage bins in the basement, with each carrying a $200,000 price tag.
The six-figure sums may not seem as expensive when compared with the price of the condominiums in the luxury residential tower. According to reports, thirteen of the luxury condos in the Manhattan tower are listed at $42 million. But there are still more expensive homes in the building. Two high-floor duplexes have an asking price of $98.5 million each. Taken altogether, 94 luxury condos in the One57 tower are listed at $2 billion. In that context, the $200,000 bins hardly appear unwarranted. But the average price per square foot, a sum of $3,776, is sure to startle real estate watchers as the US property market struggles to counteract fall prices.
The bins in question are 7-foot-high structures. Two such bins offer 50 square feet of space each at the price of $200,000. There are relatively cheaper options as well – $110,000 for bins that offer 30 square feet of space. Seen in the larger context of the United States real estate market, even the cheapest bins on offer at One57 are outrageously expensive. $200,000 could get you a 4,000-square-foot five-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Topeka, Kansas. The National Association of Realtors reported that the average price for a single family home in America in October 2011 was $165,000. However, median prices across the rest of America are hardly a match for the soaring luxury property values in New York.
The $200,000 bins are just another indication of soaring prices in the luxury sector. Other add-ons like maids’ rooms and parking spaces also command expensive rates in contemporary New York. Just prior to the recession, condo buyers in Chelsea purchased parking spaces for $225,000 each. The same year, a single Manhattan parking space sold for $325,000. The recession controlled prices somewhat. Today, the most expensive Manhattan parking space will command a price that is closer to $200,000 – the same price as the One57 bins, but at a lower rate of $1,100 per square foot.
In September this year, two staff rooms in 15 Central Park fetched $3.56 million. But the square footage was much higher, and these rooms were more like one-bedroom apartments than single rooms. This ensured that the price per square was relatively reasonable (by high-end luxury standards) at $1,637.
The prices of the bins at One57 are outlandish. But they are unlikely to pinch the pockets of seriously well-heeled individuals buying luxury condos in the 90-storey glass tower. That people are willing to pay this much for storage space should also provide a fillip to storage companies operating in the New York sector.